Insider Hints Bears’ Play-Maker Could Be Changing Positions

Cordarrelle Patterson running back

Getty Chicago Bears kickoff returner and special teams ace Cordarrelle Patterson has been an invaluable member of their team since his arrival in 2018. Now, he needs a backup. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Could Chicago Bears wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson be switching to running back? The versatile play-maker has been spending a good portion of his time working with the team’s running basks, NFL Insider Mike Garafolo said on Training Camp Live Friday afternoon.

Patterson, who has expressed interest in expanding his repertoire before, may finally get the chance to show what he’s got as a rusher, because apparently, head coach Matt Nagy has all kinds of plans to use him out of the backfield.

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Garafolo on Patterson, the RB: ‘He Is in With the Running Backs’

“I’m starting to hear things that make me think Matt Nagy is going to be really creative this year. And go deep into that bag of tricks. Cordarrelle Patterson, who we’ve seen in the past has been a running back? In fact, Josh McDaniels with the Patriots really provided the blueprint that Matt Nagy and the Bears are going to follow here this year,” Garafolo said, before getting even more specific:

“Patterson has been in meetings with the running backs — not with the wide receivers. When they signed him to a two-year, $10 million deal before last season, they really had visions of using him creatively. In fact, when he went to actually sign the contract he walked in and saw on the board, Nagy had written up on the board plays and creative ways to use Patterson. They didn’t get around to it last year, expect them to get around to it this year. Again, he is in with the running backs to learn everything about the position, the protections and everything. So, when he’s lined up back there you don’t necessarily know if he’s going to get the football. … Could be an interesting year for him and an interesting year for this Bears offense in general.”

Garafolo also noted that Bears’ passing game coordinator Dave Ragone, has also been working with Patterson this offseason, trying to find ways to better incorporate his versatile skillset into games.


Cordarrelle Patterson Has a History of Playing Well As a RB…

Patterson showed flashes of play-making ability while running the ball last season. He carried the ball just 17 times for 103 yards (that’s a six-yard average), but there were some solid gains in there, especially this memorable one in Denver:

Patterson, who will begin his eighth season this year, has played for four different teams including the Bears, and regardless of the uniform he’s wearing, he has been incredible when running the ball.

One fun fact regarding Patterson the running back? He nearly leads all Bears rushers in most career games of 50+ yards rushing. PFF’s Ian Hartitz tweeted the following last year, and Tarik Cohen added one 50+ game, and so did Patterson. Thus, Cohen has seven career 50+ games, Patterson has eight, and David Montgomery leads the squad with nine, all of which came during his rookie campaign last year.

It will be interesting to see how Nagy utilizes Patterson — and how often. Hopefully, he at least doubles his 17-carry output from last year. Patterson has had a good deal of success running behind a fullback, and he has also been a beast in short-yardage situations, so how Nagy will navigate that terrain will be one of the keys for the Bears’ offense this season.

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